Record Draft at Port of Felixstowe

Record Draft at Port of Felixstowe

15.11.2023 | Ports

Record Draft at Port of Felixstowe

The Mumbai Maersk has set a new record for the deepest draft vessel to call at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe.

The 20,568 TEU capacity ship arrived on 11 November from Bremerhaven with a draft of 16.8 metres and sailed 24 hours later with a draft of 17.0 metres.

The record was set just four weeks after the UK’s largest container port announced the completion of a £130m project to deepen the approaches to the port and its main container berths.

The depth of the approach channel was increased from 14.5 metres to 16.0 metres and Berths 8&9 increased from 16.0 metres to 18.0 metres below chart datum.

Commenting on the improvements, Robert Ashton, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“There has been a steady increase in recent years in the number of the latest generation of mega-vessels serving the main shipping route into Europe. The Port of Felixstowe is the best located UK port for these huge ships and, working with our partners at Harwich Haven Authority, we deepened the main approach channel and Berths 8&9 to cement further that advantage.

“The deeper channel provides a level of access matched nowhere else in the country. It not only allows deeper vessels to call but also more ultra-large ships to be handled on each tide. With a short channel, close to the pilot station and ports of North Europe it is better for service, cutting emissions and reducing costs.”

The port’s Berths 6&7 were upgraded in 2022 to provide four berths capable of handling the latest 24,000 TEU capacity vessels.

Sarah West, Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority, which has responsibility for the main approach channel and oversaw the recent dredging project, said:

“The deepening of the approach channel was both a significant technical challenge and a major financial investment for the Authority. We were delighted with the outcome and are hugely encouraged to see that it is already paying dividends. Harwich Haven and the Port of Felixstowe are the main gateway for UK containerised trade and by working together, we will ensure we continue to offer the right facilities and highest levels of service to our mutual customers.”

The Mumbai Maersk operates on Maersk Line’s AE10 service between Europe and Asia.

Port of Ipswich facilitates heavy lift operation for new energy project

Port of Ipswich facilitates heavy lift operation for new energy project

31.10.2023 | Ports

Port of Ipswich facilitates heavy lift operation for new energy project

What’s believed to be the biggest abnormal load ever transported in Suffolk has been brought in via the Port of Ipswich for delivery to its final destination.

The Port of Ipswich, owned and operated by Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading ports group, has played a pivotal role in supporting the successful completion of a heavy lift operation for a new energy project in East Anglia.

This significant undertaking was carried out by Allelys, a leading heavy lift and specialist transport company, and the Port of Ipswich, with its state-of-the-art facilities and strategic location, has played a critical role in facilitating this complex operation. The components, which include a generator, turbine and transformer, for the new power station arrived into the Port of Ipswich from Rotterdam aboard the general cargo ship, Wilson Flex III, and discharged by Allelys on Monday 16 October.

These components are so substantial they will require at least three successive Sundays, which began on 22 October, to complete the transport from the Port of Ipswich where the new energy project is being constructed. Each load will be about 80m (260ft) long and weigh an astounding 500 tonnes (inclusive of the trailer). This will be the biggest abnormal load ever transported in Suffolk.

Paul Ager, ABP Divisional Port Manager, said: “ABP’s Port of Ipswich is proud to have played a role in supporting this remarkable operation.

“We were pleased to work closely with Allelys to ensure that the project has gone smoothly to date, and our support for this operation exemplifies our commitment to facilitating key infrastructure projects for the region and nation.

“ABP has been a vital and necessary partner in delivering this project, and we are grateful for everyone’s patience and cooperation as the components make their way across Suffolk to their final destination.”

Image: Discharging transformer from the general cargo ship, Wilson Flex III. Photo credit: Stephen Waller.

Port of Felixstowe deepening complete

Port of Felixstowe deepening complete

4.10.2023 | Ports

Port of Felixstowe deepening complete

The main approach channel and Berths 8&9 at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe have been deepened to improve access for the world’s largest container ships. 

The announcement was formally made today (4 October 2023) during the maiden call at the port of its namesake the OOCL Felixstowe, the latest in a series of 24,188 TEU mega container vessels operated by Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. (“OOCL”).

The depth of the approach channel has been increased from 14.5 metres to 16 metres and Berths 8&9 increased from 16 metres to 18 metres below chart datum.

Commenting on the improvements, Robert Ashton, Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“The completion of this major dredging project reinforces Felixstowe’s position as one of Europe’s leading ports for the latest generation of mega vessels. It provides levels of access that are unequalled anywhere else in the UK. The dredge increases the maximum size of vessel we can handle, the berthing windows for the biggest vessels and the number of ultra-large vessels that can enter or leave the port on each high tide. Most importantly, it provides more flexibility and certainty of service for our customers in an industry where delays can be costly.

“It is entirely appropriate that the OOCL Felixstowe is one of the first ships to benefit from the deeper channel. The port has a very long-standing relationship with OOCL who first called here in the 1970s and we are honoured that they still entrust us with their business and have named their newest vessel after the port. It illustrates perfectly how we have developed together and both remain at the forefront of container shipping.”

The port’s Berths 6&7 were upgraded in 2022 to provide four berths capable of handling vessels of over 20,000 TEU capacity.

The main navigation channel is managed by Harwich Haven Authority who appointed a joint venture of Dutch dredging contractors Royal Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord to undertake the £130m project. 

Sarah West, Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority, said:

“The project to deepen the approach channel has been a significant financial investment by the Authority to ensure this vital UK gateway remains competitive and further safeguards the UK’s position as a major trading nation.

“The increased depth of the navigation channel together with the additional deep-water berths provides a compelling proposition for existing and future customers using the Port of Felixstowe. 

“Extensive environmental studies were undertaken before any work could begin and we are pleased that, working with beneficial partners that include the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, we have been able to deliver – on time and to budget – a project that not only helps future-proof trade coming into the harbour but that also delivers significant environmental benefits.”

Paul Hesk, spokesperson for the Royal Boskalis Westminster – Van Oord joint venture, added:

“We are proud to have successfully delivered this important project. Over 22 months we have used more than 20 different vessels to remove over 17.1 million cubic metres of material from the channel to improve access for some of the largest ships to be found anywhere in the world.”

DP World welcomes new South America shipping service to its London Gateway logistics hub

DP World welcomes new South America shipping service to its London Gateway logistics hub

4.10.2023 | Ports

DP World welcomes new South America shipping service to its London Gateway logistics hub

Latest milestone with the arrival of the first vessel under a new South American shipping service. 

The new jointly-operated Europe-to-East Coast South America service is set to transform global connectivity at DP World’s smart logistics hub, bringing together industry giants COSCO, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), and Ocean Network Express (ONE).

The primary British export carried on the new service will be automotive parts for manufacture in South America, with frozen food and construction materials such as plywood being imported in the opposite direction. The new service is the latest collaboration between DP World and COSCO, who recently announced the let-upon-completion of a new 120,000 sq. ft warehouse at London Gateway’s Logistics Park, which is one of the most sustainable buildings of its kind in the UK.

The first ship to arrive at London Gateway as part of the new service was the COSCO-operated Xin Chong Qing, via a rotation from Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Lisbon, Algeciras, Santos, Paranaguá, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Itapoá, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, and back to Algeciras and Rotterdam.

Ahsan Agha, Port Operations Director at DP World London Gateway, said: “This new service shows that London Gateway is continuing to grow its role at the heart of Britain’s trading future. We have a unique two port strategy offering customers a choice of deep-water entry and exit points to and from this country, meaning greater flexibility and choice for shipping lines, cargo owners and exporters.

“In the UK we are now able to combine our port, rail and Logistics Park infrastructure at London Gateway with our recent investments in logistics services. Our combined assets will increasingly provide an integrated supply chain to our customers, enabling them to move goods from the factory floor to the customer door.”

DP World, which operates in 78 countries and handles 10 per cent of world trade, is currently investing in a £350m new fourth berth at London Gateway, which will lift capacity by a third when it opens next year. In addition to its hubs at London Gateway and Southampton, DP World’s offer in the UK includes logistics, forwarding and European transport capabilities, all of which are being integrated into the company’s global network.

Image: London Gateway Quay.

London Gateway Quay

Port of Felixstowe welcomes first Methanol-powered ship

Port of Felixstowe welcomes first Methanol-powered ship

4.10.2023 | Ports

Port of Felixstowe welcomes first Methanol-powered ship

Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe has celebrated the maiden call of the Laura Maersk, the first container ship in the world to complete a voyage powered by Green Methanol. 

Commenting on its first call at the UK’s largest container port, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director of Hutchison Ports and Port of Felixstowe CEO, said:

“This is a truly historic event. It is essential that the industry moves to decarbonise shipping and this first call by an alternatively fuelled vessel complements Hutchison Ports’ commitment to achieve Net Zero for our UK operations by 2035.

“All our electricity already comes from certified renewable sources and we are investing heavily in new electric trucks and yard cranes. By deploying the first of the 150 electric trucks we have on order to work on the Laura Maersk we are able to demonstrate how zero-emission journeys through the port are possible.”

Gary Jeffreys, Maersk’s Area Managing Director UK & Ireland, said:

“We are very proud to have Laura Maersk in the UK. This innovative vessel is an important proof that the decarbonisation of supply chains is feasible. Laura Maersk is a game changer in an hard to abate industry.

“Combining low emission landside transport solutions with the soon to be delivered larger vessels running on green methanol will allow us to start offering green end to end solutions for our customers. This will be the first of many initiatives to get us to net zero.”

The Rt Hon Dr Therese Coffey MP, Secretary of State for the Environment and Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation, joined guests at the port and visited the vessel.

Dr Coffey said:

“The UK Government has been a leader in introducing mandatory targets to achieve Net-Zero by 2050. Shipping is one of the more challenging sectors to decarbonise and I am pleased to see Maersk Line taking a lead in the adoption of green fuels.”

Kitack Lim said:

“I’m delighted to witness this initiative which demonstrates shipping’s ability to power a vessel entirely by green methanol. These visionary endeavours provide an invaluable insight and pave the way for future initiatives in pursuit of a green and sustainable shipping sector.”

The 2,100 TEU vessel will operate on the company’s Baltic shipping route between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia.

Image: The Laura Maersk, the world’s first green methanol powered container ship, has made its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe.

London Thamesport gets Eco-friendly short sea boost

London Thamesport gets Eco-friendly short sea boost

6.9.2023 | Ports

London Thamesport Gets Eco-friendly Short Sea Boost

The weekly ‘Euro Maroc Service’ will be operated by three 800 TEU vessels on a 21-day fixed-day rotation, with optimal short sea and hinterland connections. 

The short sea offering at Hutchison Ports London Thamesport will be further enhanced with the launch of WEC Lines’ transformative weekly ‘Euro Maroc Service’. The new service commencing on 19 September 2023, will seamlessly link the UK, France and Northern Europe to Casablanca, Morocco, replacing their existing NWC Iberia and MOPT services.

Mark Taylor, Director of Hutchison Ports London Thamesport, commented:
“London Thamesport is well established as one of the leading short sea container ports in the Southeast of England, with a proven track record for excellent service delivery. We welcome WEC Lines’ ‘Euro Maroc Service’ connecting Northwestern Europe via France to Morocco.

“Departing twice weekly, Northbound and Southbound from Montoir on a Tuesday and arriving in London Thamesport on a Thursday, the new service will also provide an eco-friendly alternative to truck transport from West France to the UK, as well as, boosting our short sea options. Our business is committed to protecting the environment; the new service is another step along our journey to achieving a sustainable port and Net-zero by 2035.”

Roger Megann, Managing Director of WEC Lines UK, said:
“We are proud to bring this new product to the market. We continue to listen and understand what our customers need from WEC Lines as we fine-tune our networks. Consolidating our services in Thamesport has allowed WEC to add a second weekly call from Bilbao and offer fast direct services from Montoir in France and Casablanca directly to Thamesport. Our aim is to assist our clients in meeting their carbon reduction targets whilst working towards our own.”

The weekly ‘Euro Maroc Service’ will be operated by three 800 TEU vessels on a 21-day fixed-day rotation, with optimal short sea and hinterland connections. The ports of call will include, London Thamesport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Montoir, Bilbao, Vigo, LeixÕes, Setubal, Casablanca, and Figueira da Foz, creating a vital connection between these key trade hubs.